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Kremlin Stresses Importance of Putin’s Upcoming Visit to KSA

Kremlin Stresses Importance of Putin’s Upcoming Visit to KSA

Friday, 11 October, 2019 - 08:00
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Saudi Arabia's King Salman attend a welcoming ceremony ahead of their talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia October 5, 2017. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS
Moscow - Raed Jabr

Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Saudi Arabia on Monday for the first time since 2007, the Kremlin said on Thursday, stressing the “great importance” Moscow attaches to this event.

The Russian president’s foreign policy assistant revealed some of the ongoing preparations for the visit, saying that about 30 documents, including trade agreements, were being finalized for signing during Putin’s visit to the Kingdom.

Yuri Ushakov said that Putin would discuss with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, issues of cooperation between the two countries in various fields, and the prospects of collaboration in energy, agriculture, industry, military-technical cooperation, and cultural and humanitarian exchange.

He added that the Kremlin was looking forward to “exchanging views on pressing international issues with a focus on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in Syria, the Gulf and Yemen, and the settlement of the Palestinian file.”

The Russian president last visited Saudi Arabia in February 2007,and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques made a historic visit to Russia in 2017.

“President Putin and King Salman communicate regularly by phone, and Putin meets regularly with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” Ushakov said.

Meanwhile, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev, revealed plans by Moscow and Riyadh to sign ten major agreements with a total value exceeding $2 billion.

He noted that the agreements included joint cooperation in the fields of agriculture, transport, railways, fertilizers, petrochemicals, and industrial intelligence, without revealing additional details.

He also added that one of the investment deals was worth $700 million, stating that the fund would also announce joint investments with Saudi oil giant Aramco.

Dmitriev stressed that Russia and Saudi Arabia were working on 25 new projects worth $10 billion, in addition to the previous investments of more than $2.5 billion in more than 30 projects.

He said his country was working to promote a project to build the Sibur petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia with the participation of Aramco, Total and Sinopec.

Russia and Saudi Arabia have recently boosted active cooperation through the OPEC+ agreement, which guarantees the stability of oil markets.

According to Dmitriev, the Russian-Saudi discussions would touch on the agreement, noting the importance of continued coordination between Moscow and Riyadh as the most important oil producers in the world.

“This is a historic visit and stresses the importance of Russia’s role as a player to achieve stability in the region,” he affirmed.

On a different note, the Russian president’s foreign policy assistant said that Putin would travel to Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, the second leg of his regional tour after Riyadh. Russia wants to increase its joint investments with the UAE from the current $2.3 billion to $7 billion, he said.

Ushakov said that Putin would participate in the first meeting of the Russian-Saudi Economic Council, in which the Russian side is represented by Kirill Dimitriev and includes representatives of major companies and financial institutions in Russia and the Kingdom. According to Russian sources, the forum will bring together more than 300 participants from both countries.

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